Case Report

By Dr. Abhishek Shah , Dr. Laxman Prabhu
Corresponding Author Dr. Abhishek Shah
KMC Mangalore Manipal University, Dept of General Surgery, - India 575001
Submitting Author Dr. Abhishek Shah
Other Authors Dr. Laxman Prabhu
KMC Mangalore Manipal University, Dept of General Surgery division of Urology, - India 575001


Patent urachus, Valvular anus, ASD, Low Lying Umbilicus and Ammonical Dermatitis

Shah A, Prabhu L. An Interesting Case Of Atrial Septal Defect, Patent Urachus And Valvular Anus Presenting In Adulthood. WebmedCentral UROLOGY 2011;2(1):WMC001502
doi: 10.9754/journal.wmc.2011.001502
Submitted on: 23 Jan 2011 03:23:21 PM GMT
Published on: 24 Jan 2011 08:25:01 PM GMT


Patent urachus presenting in adulthood is extremely rare. Majority of these would have sought medical attention in their infancy or early childhood. This report describes a female patient with weeping umbilicusbrought by a social worker.There were additional anomalies,namely: anorectal malformation (ARM) and atrial septal defect (ASD). This is a rarity of a trinity of genitourinary, anorectal and cardiac anomalies.


The urachus is a fibrous cord located in the extraperitoneal tissues of the anterior abdominal wall. Whenit fails to get obliterated, four distinct types of anomalies arise. In the order of frequency, they are 1) patent urachus (50%), 2) urachal cyst (30%), 3) umbilical urachal sinus (15%), and 4)vesicourachaldiverticulum (3% -5%) (1, 2).ARM occurs more frequently in boys than girls. The sex ratio varies from 55% to 70% in favor of boys(3, 4). The cardiac anomaly is associated most commonly with anorectal malformation but not with patent urachus. But, combination these three congenital anomaliesare extremely rare.

Case Report(s)

The patient was a middle aged female brought to us by a social worker with history of long standing weeping umbilicus. She waswell preserved with a normal mental status. There was no fecal incontinence. She complained of chest pain occasionally. The most conspicuous point in the historywas absence of repeated episodes of urinary tract infection in the past.She had normal menstrual cycles and had not conceived after 15 yrs of marriage.
Examination showed aleaking opening in the lower lip of a low placed umbilicus. There was periumbilical ammonical dermatitis.
Genital examination showed the urethral, vaginal and anal openings were within the vestibule.
2D ECHOof heart showed atrial septal defect measuring 39 mmin diameter with right to left shunt.Ultrasound of the abdomen revealed a small uterus and a small sized right kidney.
Urinalysis showed 5-7 WBC/HPF. Hemoglobin was 10Gms/dl. Blood Urea was 40mg/dl and Serum creatinine was 1.3mg/dl. No organism was grown in urine cultured.
A short channel connecting the domeof the bladder with an external opening close to the umbilicus was noted at Cystoscopy. Ureteral orifices were orthotopic.
This tubular connection was then excised intoto with a cuff of bladder and the defect in bladder was repaired. The wound healed well and she could void well without incontinence or discomfort. Histopathology confirmed that the excised tract was urachus. No intervention was done for ARM and ASD as she was not willing for the same.


A valvular anus as in this case results because the anus lies within the vestibule as a result off very little development of perineum. In this anomaly, the anal orifice is usually small but not stenotic and is surrounded by wet vestibular epithelium.
This patient had a low translevator ARM in which all the 3 openings were within the vestibule i.e.urethral, vaginal and the anus.Patent urachus is explained by non-descent of the bladder or, more commonly, failure of the epithelial-lined urachal canal to obliterate (5). Bladder obstruction during fetal development has been blamed for the urachus remaining patent.It is seen that urachal patency is often absent in severely obstructed bladders in utero as in a case of posterior urethral valves. So the obliteration of the urachus may be independent from the level of bladder distention (6, 7). In our case the bladder was well within the pelvis with a normal outlet and orthotopic ureteric orifices. Therefore re-tubularization, rather than primary patency, might be the cause for urinary drainage from the umbilicus(8, 9).
Delayed presentation and absence of repeated urinary tract infections despite the fact that the urethra, vagina and anus being within the vestibule facilitating colonization by bacteria are unique features in this report. Combination of cardiac, urinary and anorectal anomalies makes it extremely rare.


1. Walsh PC, Retik AB, Vaughan ED, et al (eds): Campbell's Urology, s8th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2002. (s)
2. Diehl K. A rare case of urachal calculus.British journal of urology 1991; 67: 327-8. (s)
3. Tong MC (1981) Anorectal anomalies: a review of 49 cases. Ann Acad Med Singapore 10:479–484
4. Otte JB (1983) Imperforate anus.Various Belgian epidemiologic data.ActaChirBelg 82:158–162
5.Gearhart, 2002. Gearhart JP: Exstrophy, epispadias, and other bladder anomalies.   In: Walsh PC, et al ed. Campbell's Urology,  8th ed.. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2002:2136-2196.
6. Schreck and Campbell, 1972. Schreck WR, Campbell 3rd WA: The relation of bladder outlet obstruction to urinary umbilical fistula.  J Urol  1972; 108:641.
7. Mesrobian et al., 1997. Mesrobian HG, Zacharias A, Balcom AH, Cohen RD: Ten years of experi-ence with isolated urachal anomalies in children.  J Urol  1997; 158:1316-1318.
8. Schubert et al., 1983. Schubert GE, Pavkovic MB, Bethke-Bedurftig BA: Tubular urachal remnants in adult bladders.  J Urol  1983; 127:40-42.
9. Berman et al., 1988. Berman SM, Tolia BM, Laor E, et al: Urachal remnants in adults.  Urology  1988; 31:17-21.

Source(s) of Funding

Hospital and Patient

Competing Interests



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